Aum Sri Sai Ram Sri Sathya Sai Baba Organization of the Mid-Atlantic Region 33rd Annual Regional Retreat, May 23-26, 2008 Camp Westmont, Poyntelle, PA 18454 Retreat Theme: Unity in Thought, Word and Deed Only your actions are yours. Today there is no harmony between deeds and your words. Your writings have no relation to your real experience. Hence, you are unable to experience real bliss. It is better to act than to speak. Speech is easy; practice is difficult. There is real sadhana (spiritual progress) only when you practice what you profess. There must be complete harmony between thought, word and deed. - Sathya Sai Baba - Divine Discourse, February 13, 1997. Retreat Highlights Guest Speakers Dr. Venkatraman Sadanand - Dr. Sadanand is a pediatric neurosurgeon. In addition to being a long-term Sai devotee, he is a member of the International Medical Committee of the Sri Sathya Sai Organizations. He is also the Director of Medical Camps and Rotations in Swami’s Hospitals in Bangalore and Prasanthi Nilayam. His illustrious background includes a PhD in Game theory and a job at NASA. Dr. Ronne Marantz - Dr. Marantz obtained her Masters and Doctorate degrees in education from Columbia University. She is a member of Sri Sathya Sai World Federation Education Committee and also on the Advisory Board of Sri Sathya Sai Education in Human Values for USA. Workshops Based on the retreat theme and covering areas of devotion, education and service. SSE Program The children will participate in mini “Walk for Values” and “Sai Olympics”. They will also have a session with guest speakers. A mentoring program will bridge Sai Teen Youth (Group 3) -YA connection. Young Adults The Young Adult Program for this year's retreat will incorporate the sub-theme of “Walk the Talk”. The goal is to inspire YAs not only get exposure to Swami's message, but also to be able to practice this on an everyday basis. Cultural Program SSE children from Richmond and Bridgewater centers are planning a cultural program for Saturday Night. Bookstore will feature many books that are sold by the Sathya Sai Book Center in Tustin. Health Camp screening for blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, body-mass index etc. will be provided at the retreat. The blood sugar and cholesterol tests provide more accurate results if done prior to taking any food or tea/coffee/juice (that is, fasting). Devotional Program Morning: The morning devotional program will begin with Omkar gently wafting through the darkness of the pre-dawn hours. The Suprabatham, which is an ancient hymn symbolizing the awakening of the Lord within each of us, will follow next. Finally, Nagarsankirtan, melodious singing of Bhajans while walking around the campgrounds, followed by Meditation will bring the early morning program to conclusion. After respite for breakfast, the morning devotional program will continue with group Bhajans in the main hall, followed by discourses by the keynote speakers. Afternoon: Spiritual workshops. Evening: The evening devotional program will begin with group Bhajans in the main hall. It will be followed by events such as cultural program and open bhajans. On Saturday evening, we will have a campfire. Sai Spiritual Education Classes (SSE) Ages: Group I (6-9 years), Group II (10-12 years), Sai Teen Youth (13-16 years). All children between the ages of 6 and 16 are required to attend the SSE classes at the retreat. Activities: A diverse program incorporating human values has been planned for the SSE students and includes spiritual, physical and creative activities. The children will present a cultural program. Logistical Information Retreat Registration: The registration can be done on the web at http://events.sathyasai-region2.org. The registration can be completed online. Mail your check along with the payment stub as per instructions on the website. If you prefer, you can fill out the attached registration form instead. Please return the completed forms along with your check to your local Sai Center President or Ajit Virani as soon as possible. These should reach Ajit Virani no later than Saturday May 3, 2007. People planning on coming for a day need to pre-register. There is an additional fee of $5.00 per person for late and on-site registration. No credit cards are accepted. Accommodations: Campsite accommodations are in cabins with beds for 8 to 12 people. Men and women stay in separate cabins. Young children normally stay with the mother. The cabins are not heated. We recommend that you bring a few personal items to ensure that your stay at the retreat is comfortable and safe. Items should include warm clothing, rainwear, walking shoes, pillow, sheet, blanket, sleeping bag, towel, toiletry including hand soap, flashlight, alarm clock, insect repellent, cushion, pen, notebook and water bottle. Offsite accommodations (Hotels): Devotees who choose to stay offsite are responsible for making their own arrangements. During Memorial Day hotel room availability is at a premium. Please call early to ensure accommodation during this busy vacation weekend. The following is a partial list of hotels close to the retreat site: (additional list can be found at http://www.campwestmont.com the camp website under “Parents” tab). Major hotels are in Scranton, PA, which is an hour away. Inn at Starlight Lake, Starlight, PA – 570-798-2519 (9 miles or 15 min) Mention SAI group for discount rate of $115/night + 15% service charge, 14 days cancellation policy) Hancock House Hotel, Hancock, NY – 607-637-7100 (15 miles or 25 min). Mention SAI group for discount rate of $117.50/night + 5% service charge, 2 days cancellation policy) Candle Light Inn, Uniondale, PA – 570-679-4000 (10 miles or 15 min) Retreat Check In: Upon arriving at the Camp, please proceed directly to the Registration desk. If you have pre-registered, your cabin assignment and retreat program will await you. If you are a walk-in registrant, your forms will be processed on site and cabin assignments will be made, depending on space availability. There will be volunteers to assist with the luggage for the elderly. Retreat Rules: This is a spiritual retreat. To ensure that all attendees can spiritually benefit from the Retreat, we require that everyone observe the following basic rules: General: Park only in the designated areas. Only authorized vans will be allowed to move around the campsite. Camps have underground tanks as well as hilly areas where cars/vans are not allowed. Please respect the campsite rules and property. Do not tamper with cabin fixtures. Stay in your assigned cabins. Do not leave children and valuables unattended. Ladies and gentlemen will be seated separately for all activities. Do not undertake any independent workshops or group activity. Engaging in any commercial transaction is prohibited. Dress code: Modest clothing, suitable for an Ashram, is required at all times. No shorts, mini skirts, or tight fitting clothes are allowed. Behavior: Smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages and possession of firearms, fireworks, and illegal substances are strictly prohibited. We appreciate your cooperation in obeying these rules for the benefit of your fellow devotees. Please ask your children to keep away from swimming pools and from wandering around after designated lights out time. Directions to Camp Site Driving Directions Camp Address – Route 370, Poyntelle, PA 18454 (Phone: 570-448-2500) From Carbondale, PA Take US- 6 East to exit 7 (Carbondale business district) – Sharp Exit on left. Turn Left onto US-6 BR/ Roosevelt Hwy (0.9 mi), Turn Right onto Canaan St (0.2 mi), Turn Left onto Morse Ave/ PA-1003 (0.3 mi), Continue on Reservoir Rd (0.3 mi), Turn Right onto Main St/ PA-171 Continue to follow PA-171 N (15.2 mi) Turn Right onto PA-370 (4.5 mi) Look for Camp Westmont sign on the left. Via I-80 GW Bridge-80W (towards the Delaware water gap) Stay on route 80W for approximately 27 miles to exit 293. (Route 380N) Take 380N approximately 20 miles to exit “route US-6 East-Carbondale”. Follow signs above “From Carbondale, PA”. From Philadelphia Take NE extension of PA Turnpike to exit 37. Take route 81 north to route US-6 East. Follow signs above “From Carbondale, PA”. From Baltimore From Philadelphia NE extension West. Turnpike to 83 North (towards York north to route 6 East through Take 1-95 to 695 of PA Take 695 West exit 37. Take route 81& Harrisburg). Take 83 North (towards Wilkes- Carbondale, PA Take 81 a left to route US-6 East. Follow signs above “From Carbondale, PA”. Barre and Scranton). making norths after you ride through onto route 171 north. Continue about 15 miles, making From Maryland a right turn onto route 370 east. Go approximately 4 ½ miles to Camp Wesmont sign on left side, make left. Take I-270 N to Frederick. Take Route US-15 N to Harrisburg. Take PA-581 E towards I-83. Continue on I-83 N. Take I-81 N towards Hazelton. Continue on I-81 towards Wilkes-Barre / Scranton. Take exit 187 to US-6 East towards Carbondale. Follow signs above “From Carbondale, PA”. Via I-87 NYS Thruway NYS Thruway to exit 16 (Harriman). Take route 17 west to second Hancock exit #87 (not 87A) about 1 3/4 hours. Turn left off exit, left onto Main St... Go 1 long block making a right after a gas station. Go over RR tracks & bridge and continue on Rt. 191 for 1 mile, making right turn onto route 370 west. Go approximately 12 miles to Camp Westmont turn right at camp sign, just after the blue & white sign for Village of Poyntelle. Service Opportunities General Guidelines: 1. Devotees are encouraged to volunteer for any seva opportunity those appeals to them. To practice Unity in Thought Word and Deed, all volunteers are requested to follow-up on their commitments. This is your commitment to Swami. 2. Please review carefully the major opportunities that are briefly detailed including the timings. Note as you volunteer, you might have to miss some of the programs as the timings of some service opportunities might conflict with the main program. The retreat will run smoothly and can be successful only when sacrifices are made by committed volunteers. 3. Once you indicate your interest, there will be a final confirmation about your participation in a service opportunity. We will notify you of the date /time of service. 4. For further information on service opportunities, please do not hesitate to contact: a. Sai Kishore (firstname.lastname@example.org or call 646-552-9938) or b. Rajen Ghayal (email@example.com or call 732-276-6727). 5. Center Service Coordinators are encouraged to organize and facilitate their Center devotees by helping in any and all of the above seva opportunities. 6. We request and encourage all to assist with whatever area you are comfortable with. Let us all lend a hand by working together and following Swami’s teachings. Brief outline about various service opportunities are shown below. Please indicate your preference by entering the letters A-O on the registration form. A. SSE: (Prity Bhatt will be the lead contact) - This seva involves helping the SSE children in classes and other activities. Devotees who love working with children are encouraged to volunteer. Please note that you will miss some of the main program and/or bhajans while rendering this seva. B. Alarm Wake Up: This involves going around the campsite with a bell to wake up the devotees. Please check the timings involved. This is for Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning. C. Audio System Handling: This group takes care of the Audio system requirements during the retreat. They would help transport, setup and monitor sound system in Devotion Hall, Multi-Media Center, SSE play practice and Young Adults. D. Camp Setup: Committed volunteers are needed for this initial setup. This is done on Friday prior to our first bhajan session that evening. We encourage Young adults / Adults to come Friday morning and help in the setup of the camp. By helping with this crucial seva we can transform the campsite into an atmosphere where all can enjoy an uplifting, spiritual experience. Following are some of the areas where help is needed. They are… a. Devotion Hall: (P Shashidharan is the main contact): Need help with setting up of altar, decorations, seating arrangements and cleaning before and after all programs. b. Signs: (Metropolitan Center): Need to arrange or place signs / banners throughout the campsite for easy navigation. This involves coverage of the accommodation cabin signs / banners to major locations / direction signs at major junctions etc. c. Registration / Seva desk / Help Line: Help is needed setting up the registration area / seva desk / help line boxes around the camp site this year. d. Canteen / Dining Hall: Assistance is needed in transferring groceries / supplies to the kitchen area and in setting up the dining hall. E. Camp Cleanup: We all want to leave the camp and head home as soon as possible but our goal is to leave the camp in a better condition than when we arrived. If you can stay back and help, it would be greatly appreciated. F. Dining Hall: Keeping the dining area clean and lovingly serving all devotees within a short span of time summarizes this seva activity. Typically this involves: a. Collection of used plates / cups / spoons / garbage responsibilities. b. Cleaning/Setting Tables: Ensuring the tables are setup / cleaned immediately and available for the next group. c. Cleanliness of Dining Area: After each session the dining hall should be cleaned and ready for the next session. G. Luggage Support: This group will assist in carrying devotees’ luggage to/from the registration area and the cabins. H. Patrolling Service: Responsible for maintaining an atmosphere wherein all devotees behave in accordance with organizational guidelines. It involves ensuring that SSE children / YAs are in their designated programs and not wandering around the campsite at night after designated lights-out time. I. Parking Lot: This is the first impression that devotees will get of the retreat. After a long journey, seeing a friendly, helpful parking attendant will go a long way in making the devotee feel warm and comfortable. J. Sanitation: The devotion hall has public restroom facilities. Because of the location it will be necessary to continuously maintain these. Supplies and other resources will be provided. K. Shoe Arranging: Help is needed in arranging the shoes in an orderly fashion. L. Seva Desk: This is an important area of seva where help is needed for the entire duration of the retreat from setup to cleanup. This group…. a. Will be the main hub for centralized database of volunteers involved in every major area including devotion hall, kitchen, SSE and other general seva. b. Will be the central point where walk-in volunteers will know where and in what service they could participate. M. Transportation: This group takes care of rides to/from nearest bus station, transporting guest speakers to/from hotels and help in transporting various materials in and around the camp. N. Videography: This is an aspect where memories created are kept for a many years after the event. This will be a major service to all the devotees who were unable to attend the retreat or who were providing valuable seva in the areas identified above. If you have cameras/camcorders/video equipment and are good at using them, then please consider signing up for this seva. O. Workshops: Workshop facilitators need help with sound equipment, computer set-up etc. P. Swami’s Room: Volunteers are needed to attend Swami’s room in two-hour slots from early morning till late evening. Q. Camp Fire: Volunteers will help set up and manage campfire on Saturday night. SSSO of Mid-Atlantic – 33rd Annual Retreat - Registration Information Instructions: Registration this year can be done on the web at http://events.sathyasai-region2.org you can complete the registration online and then mail your check along with the payment stub as per instructions on the website. If you prefer paper registration, please fill out the registration form completely and make sure that all members of your family/group attending the Retreat are listed, including those who may be staying off-site. Calculate the total registration fee based on the number of attendees and the duration of the stay using the rate table below. Please return the completed forms along with your check to your local Sai Center President or Ajit Virani. These should reach Ajit Virani no later than Saturday May 3, 2008. The camp has limited overnight capacity. Accommodations for people registering late or onsite cannot be guaranteed. Devotees planning on coming for a day should also pre-register. There is an additional fee of $5.00 per person for late and on-site registration. All cancellations must be done no later than May 15, 2008 to get a refund. Please contact Ajit Virani by phone at 703-709-9343 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. The address for mailing the registration forms: Ajit Virani, 13006 Monroe Manor Dr, Oak Hill, VA 20171. Costs: The costs below include retreat programs, meals and overnight stay (if applicable) in the camp for the duration that you are registering for. There is no charge for children below 5 years of age. Please enter Stay option and check number on the registration form. Camp Stay No Camp Stay Stay Arrive Depart Adult Children Adult Children Option Nights (over 12) (6 to 12) (over 12) (6 to 12) 1 Fri Mon 3 $86 $60 $65 $43 2 Fri Sun PM 2 $86 $60 $65 $43 3 Fri Sun AM 2 $76 $54 $54 $38 4 Fri Sat PM 1 $54 $38 $43 $33 5 Sat AM Mon 2 $86 $60 $65 $43 6 Sat AM Sun PM 1 $76 $54 $65 $43 7 Sat AM Sun AM 1 $65 $43 $54 $38 8 Sat Day Only - - - $38 $27 9 Sat PM Mon 2 $76 $54 $54 $38 10 Sat PM Sun PM 1 $65 $43 $54 $38 11 Sat PM Sun AM 1 $54 $38 $43 $33 12 Sun AM Mon 1 $43 $33 $38 $27 13 Sun PM Mon 1 $43 $33 $38 $27 14 Sun Day Only - - - $38 $27 Note: Please add $ 5.00 per person for late (after May 3, 2008) and for on-site registration SSSO of Mid-Atlantic – 33rd Annual Retreat - Registration Form Email (please print): Car License Plate: Home Phone: Cell Phone: Center: Address: City: State: Zip: Age Camp Stay Service Interest *** No. Gender First Name Last Name Range Stay Option Fees ($) (M or F) * (Y/N) ** ** Fri Sat Sun Mon 1 2 3 4 5 6 Check Number Check Amount $ * Age Range: Enter one of the following - 1-5, 6-9, 10-12, 13-16, 16-32, 33-69, 70+ ** Please select Stay Option and Fees amount from the Rate Sheet. Make sure to enter check number. *** Service Interests: Please enter letters A – Q from the Service Opportunities List for one or more days. You can enter more than one interest. Special Needs: (Please clearly elaborate upon the need, e.g., handicapped, need to be with a particular person) Would you like to be contacted in the future by email for information about Regional Sai events (circle one) Yes No Signature: By signing and submitting the registration form, I hereby agree to abide by the rules of the Regional Retreat of the Sri Sathya Sai Organization of the Mid-Atlantic region. Please make your check payable to SSSO of Mid-Atlantic and mail it to Ajit Virani, 13006 Monroe Manor Dr, Oak Hill, VA 20171.
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